I recently sold the rustmobile! The fellow wanted to know surprisingly little about it, the entire transaction reminded me of a certain meme. Hopefully it treats him well and all the little annoyances aren’t too annoying!
By request, here’s a link to the Craigslist ad, the ad is pasted below for when it ends/expires!
Awful car for your awful driver! (Beater 1994 Honda Accord) – $500 (St Paul)
The quick overview:
-1994 Honda Accord LX
-???,??? Miles (Odometer stopped working 3 years ago at 215,000, so who knows).
-Have owned for ~5 years
-”Mostly” blue (“Sage Green” according to the colorblind guys at Honda). Hood is black-ish and there’s some rust and bondo highlights.
-Lots of “personality” / minor problems (will attempt to list them all below)
-Engine works, brakes work, and wheels turn (it drives!)
-Lights work (you can drive at night!) Both high and low beam.
-Wipers work (you can drive in the rain!)
-Heater works and heats up quickly (you can drive in the winter!)
-One of the windows still rolls down (you can drive in the summer!)
-Blinkers mostly work (hopefully you know how to use these, unlike many drivers).
-No cracks! (Brand new windshield)
-Front brake pads recently replaced.
-Battery is pretty good, I’ve left the dome light on overnight and it still started.
-New ignition wires, spark plugs, distributor cap and rotor.
-High-performance air intake. I don’t know why, it was just there when I bought it.
-I’ll include some spare parts like new rear brake pads, new fuel filter, set of new spark plugs, and color-matched touch-up paint. Can include a beat up, oil-stained Haynes manual too.
-Despite all the problems, it has been pretty reliable.
The BAD (and the ugly):
-Sometimes it loses power and backfires/stutters when first starting, or when accelerating. No pattern or reason to it. Not a huge deal as you can pump the gas and maintain speed, and it goes away after a while. Sometimes it does this every day for 10 minutes at a time, sometimes it will go weeks without doing it. Mechanics are mystified.
-Fuel line has been replaced with flexible rubber fuel hose where it goes through the engine compartment, and fuel filter has been moved (Honda originally designed it to require 37 rare and custom tools plus two helper monkeys and a double-jointed circus contortionist to change it). The filter is now somewhere you can actually see, which is good, but the line is not stock, which might make your insurance agent cry if they find out.
-Pushbutton start! Why is this bad? Someone was dumb enough to steal the thing (out of a parking lot full of nicer cars) and broke the ignition. Thanks to Ax-Man there’s now a hidden switch/button starter instead of a keyhole. It works fine, but is a little weird.
-It leaks oil. I’ve had it in to various shops and they can’t find the source, it just keeps coming out. I have to top it off once a month or so. Put some cardboard down or expect your driveway to be spotty.
-Exhaust is mostly gone so it’s super loud. This could be a plus if you want to sound like a high-performance racer or something, I’ve had teenagers try to drag race me a few times. The muffler is new, but the pipe between the catalytic converter and muffler keeps rusting away and/or falling off. I’ve repaired/replaced it 3 times and finally gave up. I’ve only been pulled over for it once, and that was because the muffler itself was visibly missing and I was the ugliest car in a yuppie suburb with bored cops.
-As mentioned, the odometer doesn’t work and is stuck at 215k. As a wild guess it’s “probably” between 250k and 300k now, but no way to guarantee.
-Rear windows don’t roll down anymore.
-Driver’s side window opener broke. You can push it up by hand and wedge it in place (wedge included!)
-Power locks are haunted. You have to manually lock/unlock it, but sometimes it will randomly start trying to re-lock itself repeatedly for no reason. Driver’s side lock is… complicated.
-No stereo (stolen) and no speakers. Power radio antenna is jammed half-out, still works fine if you put a radio in. I can include a CD stereo, but you’ll have to figure out the wiring and get speakers.
-Front driver’s side blinker on the bumper is not quite the right size. I ordered one for this model from Amazon and they sent something else, so I made it fit with zipties and science. It has a loose wire and doesn’t always work, haven’t had time to fix it but should be simple. There are still turn signals up next to the headlights (which work).
-Speaking of zipties, the headlights are mostly held on that way. The lenses have a few cracks. They all work though!
-Some bent and damaged parts of the front frame (ran into some stuff). Again, zipties save the day. Nothing really important is damaged and you can’t tell unless you open the hood and look close.
-Front bumper is held on with screws and zipties. If you pull too close to a curb it gets stuck and falls off sometimes.
-Hood doesn’t pop from inside, the cable is jammed. Have to pull on the ziptie sticking out of the grill (see a theme yet?)
-NO A/C. Not your normal “No AC” car that just needs freon, this one is basically unrepairable The compressor seized up, the freon went away, the fan relay is dead, and I ripped out a bunch of the pipes since they were in the way. I bypassed the compressor completely after it seized, the alternator has the shorter belt now.
-Rear passenger side seatbelt doesn’t want to retract. Might be fixable.
-Various body rust, typical for this model with MN road salt. I used to care, so I fixed some areas with bondo and bought the matched color from the dealership. Now the rust is coming back in the same spots and the Bondo is falling off and I don’t care anymore. I’ll include the can of matching spray paint and a smaller color pen in case you want it to look less trashy for some reason.
-Running boards on the passenger side is falling off
-Passenger side mirror is cracked and held on with a bolt. Still works fine, power-adjust still works.
-Minor dent in rear door from high-velocity cherry tomato (There was a potato gun involved and we were like “tomatoes just go splat, right?” WRONG).
-Hole drilled in trunk lid for ham radio antenna. Radio got stolen, so there’s just a mounting bracket there now (doesn’t leak).
-Secondary fan relay is shot (The second fan is supposed to be for the AC, but AC doesn’t work anyway). The fan is supposed to also kick in at higher temps but I’ve not really needed it. The fan itself works and has a switch on the dash in case it gets really hot.
-Speaking of fans, the main cooling fan likes to come on about 30 seconds after you park, and runs for a few minutes. Doesn’t seem to be a problem.
-Below ¼ tank, if you brake hard the car will want to stall since the gas sloshes away from the intake or something. It will start up again afterwards as long as there’s some gas in the tank.
To summarize, it’s ugly, it’s jury-rigged, and it’s got loads of “personality”, but will get you from point A to point B, and possibly meets at least several safety and road-worthiness standards!
Edit: Ad will be taken down once it’s gone, so please don’t email just to ask if I still have it. Email is preferred, I have fewer times when I can make phone calls. Thanks!